s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Book Club

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Book Club

The Relief Society in my ward is starting a book club, I think as part of the new non-Enrichment Enrichment Program. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I love reading and I’m always looking for an excuse to read more. On the other hand, this may be yet another opportunity to discover how very little I have in common with the other sisters in this ward.

This month’s reading is Persuasion, by Jane Austen, which is nice because I’ve seen the movie several times, but I’ve never read it. Apparently we’ll all get a chance to choose a book eventually, but I have to laugh when I look over my book diary, because so few of the titles would be appropriate.

In that light, I present An Incomplete List of Books That I Have Read and Loved, But Will Certainly Not Be Recommending for the Relief Society Book Club:

The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
Just because it’s a classic doesn’t mean it’s not all about sex.

The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan
A book about why stay-at-home mothers are all suicidal.

The Backslider, Levi Peterson
I’ve already taken heat on the Board for recommending such an explicit book to a Mormon audience.

How We Die, Sherwin B. Nuland
A really interesting book, but some would doubtless find it disturbing.

The Last Temptation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis
A book that portrays Christ as weak and Judas as strong? I think not.

Speaking of Chinese, Raymond Chang
Probably no one else cares enough about Chinese linguistics to get through this book. (But if you do care, it’s a really great book!)

Better Than Well, Carl Elliott
Another highly disturbing book. Especially the chapter about people who harm themselves because they want to be amputees.

Possession, A.S. Byatt

The Gospel According to the Simpsons, Mark I. Pinsky
Offensive to people who think The Simpsons is an evil show.

The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
More offensive to Muslims than to Christians, but the title still says it all.


At April 12, 2006 7:48 PM, Blogger Logan said...

No kidding. Rather it seems like the one way for authors to guarantee classic status was to include a scandalous amount of sex, at least until the 19th century when everyone and his dog started doing it.

How about proposing a scholarly work on Mormon history? But I guess you'd not fare any better there than with Satanic Verses.

At April 12, 2006 8:57 PM, Blogger la bamba said...

Great book list!

At April 12, 2006 11:48 PM, Blogger FoxyJ said...

I've read most of those books and, while I would recommend them to most of my friends, I'd probably hesitate to suggest most of them to a RS sponsored book club. It would depend on the people in club, of course, so maybe if you get to know them something might work out...

At April 13, 2006 11:01 AM, Blogger Edgy said...

Give Persuasion a chance. I know it's basically blasphemy to say so, but I think it's Austen's best.

At April 13, 2006 7:59 PM, Blogger Katya said...

logan - I think we'd part ways on the word "scholarly." I'd only read it if it was, and some of them would only read it if it wasn't.

foxyj - I should point out that these aren't the only books I've read in the last few years, just the ones that I thought would be the funniest to suggest to an RS book club. Especially The Satanic Verses. Cracks me up every time I think about it.

ekb - Will do. I've always liked the movie a lot, and I just bought the book today.

word verification: ozobex - sounds like someone misheard "Uzbek."

At April 14, 2006 10:24 AM, Blogger Melyngoch said...

I was reading and reading and waiting for you to mention Slaughterhouse Five and you didn't.

If my RS starts a book club, I'm making them read Pamela.


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